A time trial in Barcelona.
Flat and technical. We have 18 corners and two roundabouts in 14.8 km.
The TTT’ opening the race start late, it often means the temperature is much better for the riders too. Now, it has been extremely warm in Southern Europe the past weeks. I see a chance of rain during the evening. The riders start at 18:55 and the last is down the ramp at 20:19, being home save 20:35 according to the schedule. There will be rain showers, the questions is when. It may miss them. Therefore, I will go with everyone has the same conditions. The wind will not play a big role in the city.
If it does rain, it is going to be bikes on an ice rink, as rain falling on completely dry tarmac gets slippery.
Five riders is what must cross the line for a time to be set. I’ve taken that into account, and mainly determine the result on that. However, it is possible teams will finish with more.
Jumbo-Visma – (Roglic, Kelderman, Tratnik, Van Baarle, Vingegaard)
A very strong line up for the team. They start as the favorites if you ask me, but there can be a slight problem for the team. Kelderman is not most gifted rider in wet corners, if we see rain throughout the day. Lucky for them, Gesink and Valter are not poor against the clock, they are one of the few teams I expect to finish with 5+ across the line. They start as favorites.
INEOS – (Thomas, Arensman, Castroviejo, Ganna, De Plus/Heiduk)
On paper, if we go by five riders, INEOS can match them. Who their last rider will be I do not know, but I imagine they can finish with six riders too. I see them as serious podium contenders but I doubt they can beat Jumbo-Visma.
QuickStep – (Evenepoel, Cattaneo, Pedersen, Vervaeke, Sierry).
It will likely be three riders doing most of the work, with the World Champion doing more than his fair share. I think that will be a problem. Last year, in the TTT, they had a better team and still finished 3rd. They will hope to limit the damage, Evenepoel can do a lot on his own.
UAE – (Almeida, Ayuso, Fisher-Black, Soler, Vine)
Almost feels bad not including Molano but his job is the first half of the stage, where his technical abilities come into good use. It is a strong team on paper, but the history for UAE in team time trials is poor. They will hope to surprise, otherwise a top-5 is what they aim for.
Jayco-AlUla – (Dunbar, Sobrero, Scotson, Hepburn, Zana)
They are consistent against the clock when riding as a unit. None of them are stars, but they tend to play the TTTs very smart. They will be knocking at the top-5.
EF – (Bissegger, Carthy, M. Van den Berg, J. Van den Berg, Quinn)
Same goes for EF, who always seem to go better than you expect. Bissegger is the engine, while Carthy has done good time trials in the past. The Van den Bergs strike me as consistent and with firepower. I think they will hope for a top-5 but I’m uncertain.
⭐⭐ INEOS, Quick-Step
⭐ UAE, Jayco-AlUla, EF
Who will win?
A win for Jumbo-Visma.